UNDERSTANDING THE LIVED EXPERIENCES OF MALTESE PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC DIABETIC FOOT ULCERS: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY
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Seychell, A. (2017) UNDERSTANDING THE LIVED EXPERIENCES OF MALTESE PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC DIABETIC FOOT ULCERS: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY, no. 75.
Ulceration is a chronic and disabling condition affecting approximately 1-2% of the population of the developed world. The majority of such ulcers are often hard to heal and tend to recur, becoming a long-term chronic healthcare problem. Even though in majority of cases healing is attained, 12-month recurrence rates of 26-69% have been reported, thus making some patients suffer from symptoms of ulceration for most of their lifetime. Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are the commonest complications of diabetes. Despite appropriate treatment, DFUs often fail to heal, becoming chronic in nature and 17% of such ulcers result in minor or major lower limb amputation. Chronic foot ulcers impose negative physical, physiological, social and psychological impact on patients and their families leading to a decreased quality of life. Given the prevalence and incidence of chronic DFUs, little research has been carried out about the individuals' experience pertaining to such wounds. Thus with this in mind, the researcher is proposing a research study that aims to explore further the lived experiences of patients with chronic, non-healing diabetic foot ulcers. Furthermore this study will also aim to understand better what it means for a person to live with chronic non-healing foot ulcers. The research objectives are to explore the lived experiences of Maltese patients living with chronic non-healing DFUs, to gain an insight how Maltese diabetic patients perceive their daily life while living with chronic DFUs and to describe what it means for a person to live with a chronic DFU. Gadamerian hermeneutic phenomenology will be chosen as method to guide this proposed research study. Semi-structured interviews will be used to collect the data, from ten patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and having a diabetic foot ulcer present for more than 4-8 weeks. The interview schedule was constructed for the purpose of this study after a careful literature search on the topic under study. The data that will be generated from the interviews will then be transcribed and analyzed using an Interpretative Phenomenological Approach (IPA).